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Second rail station plan for Leeds city centre

An artist's impression of a high speed rail train in a station.

An artist's impression of a high speed rail train in a station.

  • by Jack Blanchard
 

A second railway station is set to be built in the centre of Leeds as part of the £32 billion high-speed rail plans announced next week.

On Monday the Government will finally unveil the long-awaited route of the next phase of its new high-speed rail line linking London to Leeds, Sheffield and Manchester.

The Yorkshire Evening Post understands that the plans are set to include proposals for a huge new station to the south of the river in Leeds, to cater for the new high-speed trains.

The new terminal is likely to be close enough to the existing station for the two to be linked via an airport-style walkway.

Sources said the new HS2 terminal would be part of a wider regeneration project in the centre of Leeds, that would see the existing station given a much-needed revamp and the surrounding area overhauled.

A second option, involving simply extending the existing station, is also likely to be included in the consultation launched next week.

But it is understood transport bosses believe giving Leeds the second station which it lost decades ago is the better option.

The whole project will take many years to complete, however. The consultation on the route alone is expected to take a full year.

The first phase of the line, between London and Birmingham, will not be open until 2026.

Phase two, linking Birmingham to Leeds and Sheffield in one spur, and Manchester in another, will open in 2032.

But, speaking to the Yorkshire Evening Post, Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said it was vital to begin planning now to ensure our railways have sufficient capacity in the years to come.

“Since privatisation (in 1992), we have seen passenger numbers double and we’ve seen freight increase on our railways by 60 per cent,” he said.

“If we’re going to continue to service that kind of growth, we need to think now and we need to act now.

“The easiest thing for the Government to do would be not to do this – that would be the easy option. But it would be the wrong option.”

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